Gender and Sexuality in East Europe

For my first post I thought it was appropriate to introduce myself and the program I am participating in for the fall semester. I am currently abroad with a program titled Women and Gender in Europe which travels to the Netherlands, Germany, Poland, and the Czech Republic. I along with nine other classmates have been taking classes with a professor who travels with us to these four countries. Together, we have attended lectures hosted by both NGOs and governmental organizations across Europe. These activist groups focus on a variety of topics such as sex workers rights, abortion services, immigrant communities, eradication of human trafficking, trans/queer advocacy, and many other issues. 

My name is Kevin Muñoz and I am a junior at Colby College, double majoring in East Asian Studies and Women’s, Gender, Sexuality Studies. The reason I chose this program was to have a semester of my undergrad dedicated to studying critical theories. As I also engage in another area of studies, it is sometimes challenging for me to balance both disciplines equally. Thus, here I am in Europe and I have truly loved every minute of it (almost every minute). 

I am hoping to use this blog to share some of the social issues relevant to each of the countries I am visiting. Additionally, I will position my identity within these geographical locations to reflect my own experiences as a queer person of color. While these countries are all located close to one another, they hold vastly different histories and cultural significances. Lastly, I am looking forward to sharing some gender/sexual theory in this blog and relate it to personal, potentially intimate experiences. As a trigger warning to potential readers, I will be discussing micro-violences as they pertain to gender, racial, and sexual subjectivity. Also, I will be touching on my visitation to organizations that focus on sensitive social issues, meaning if any of my posts effect you in a way you are uncomfortable with, please refrain from reading. You, as the reader, must also look out for your own well-being as well. For me, I want to lean into my vulnerabilities and trust that what I share with anyone who reads me will be used in a productive manner. 

Until next time. Thank you for reading.